Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Canning Adventures Part 2: Pickling

It all started with a canning class. After three hours of lecturing, mom and I embarked on an adventure of a lifetime. Or a summer, anyway. First came the jams. Mixing together sugar, crushed berries and pectin was a piece of cake. By the time we made our third batch we were pros.

The pickling, however, was another story…
Filling three jars and finding we didn’t have enough vinegar, rushing to the store to buy more vinegar, returning to find we were also out of sugar, going back to the store yet again to purchase sugar, coming back and re-heating the entire mixture, finding that the three previously full jars had cooked down to half full, opening the three jars and stuffing their contents into the other jars, waiting forever for the boiling water bath to heat up, lowering the jars into the water and realizing they say to fill it half full for a reason, mopping boiling water off the stovetop and floor with old towels…
Needless to say, Anne of Green Gables had nothing on us.

Four hours of frustration later, we managed to remove seven jars of pickles from the processor without spilling boiling water everywhere, dropping any of the jars, or burning ourselves. Yay! Here are some before and after shots I managed to get.

The cucumbers patiently awaiting their doom.

The chopping block.

Waiting to be processed.

The finished product!

Today I learned three valuable lessons about pickling.
#1: Always make sure you have enough ingredients before you start cooking.
#2: If at all possible, have someone there to help you.
#3: They call it "in a pickle" for a reason...


Hosanna said...

Yay! Did you do sweet pickles, then?

Catherine said...

Yes. I used my great-grandmother's sweet pickle recipe which was similar to the one in the blue book. It called for 5 cups vinegar, 5 cups sugar, and a teaspoon each of celery seed, mustard seed, and turmeric. :)